Published Sep 21, 2011Peter Hook's not too happy about his New Order bandmates reuniting without him, but the legendary bassist isn't letting the snub slow him down. This month, Hook and his band the Light are hitting the road in North America to perform the classic Joy Division albums Unknown Pleasures and Closer, and the trek includes Canadian stops in Toronto and Montreal this week. Speaking with Exclaim!, Hook reveals that these shows are just the beginning of lengthy campaign to pay tribute to his celebrated former bands.
"My idea, when I thought about it, was to play every LP I've ever written and then retire," he explains, "so that I got to play all of the songs that I'd written once more."
He's already looking ahead to his next retrospective tour, which will begin sometime in 2012, but isn't yet sure which album to perform. "I'm torn at the moment to, next time either do [Joy Division's] Substance or [New Order's] Movement," he says. "We'll decide next May. We'll have to decide because it's going to be one or the other."
In addition to planning shows -- which see the longtime sideman taking over duties as lead singer -- Hook is putting the finishing touches on a new book about Joy Division, which he hopes will put to rest the misinformation that has long surrounded the band's storied career.
"The thing that really surprises me about all the Joy Division books is that they're done by people who were not anywhere near Joy Division," he says. "I hope this book puts my Joy Division demons to rest. And then I can put my New Order demons to rest. And then I can rest."
After his Joy Division book is complete, he will get to work on a follow-up tome about his time in New Order. This promises to be a captivating read, given the icy relationships between the band members. Hook, however, hopes that it will give clarity to the group's history without resorting to name-calling or finger-pointing.
"New Order has been very bitter, right from the word go, really, if I'm honest. It's going to be a difficult story to tell," he admits. "The trouble with telling those stories is that you don't want to bitch. You want to walk out of telling the story nobly."
Hook hopes that his book will help to give him a sense of closure with regards to New Order -- something that's perhaps less likely now that the group have reunited without him. In a further attempt to shut the door on New Order, he has negotiated with his ex-bandmates to release seven unheard B-sides from the sessions for 2005's Waiting for the Sirens' Call. These should be out before Christmas and, if Hook has his way, will be available as a stand-alone EP instead of being attached to a more extensive reissue.
"I'm keeping my fingers crossed, again, that they're done with nobility. But I don't have much control over that, mate, so I don't know," he confesses with a laugh. "For me, since New Order split, they've always been hanging there. And what I want to see is a clean slate for New Order. I want to be able to look at New Order and go, 'Well, it's all finished,' and then we can all get on with our lives."
The real question is, what do Hook's former bandmates think of his plan to revisit and reassess his past work? "I think they think it sucks," he says. "It's quite odd really, because both Bernard [Sumner] and Stephen [Morris] play Joy Division and New Order tracks in Bad Lieutenant, quite a few of them, before I did Unknown Pleasures. So, to be honest with you, I don't know what the fuck they're moaning about, because they did it first."
Hook might not have his ex-collaborators' blessing, but the bassist is nevertheless giving Joy Division and New Order fans a lot to look forward to in the coming years. But first thing's first: check out his remaining tour schedule below.
9/23 Chicago, IL - Metro ^
9/24 Toronto, ON - Phoenix *
9/25 Montreal, QC - Club Soda *
11/25 Athens, Greece - Gagarin 205*
11/26 Thessaloniki, Greece - Eightball Live *
12/20 Eindhoven, Netherlands - Effenar ^
12/22 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg ^
* Performing Unknown Pleasures
^ Performing Closer